Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

From our family: Merry Christmas to you and your families!

I have missed blogging due to the busy life of the last few days. Prep for Christmas, Christmas eve, actual Christmas day, then the days following Christmas of where to put what and what to get rid of. Over Advent, we did go through lots of toys and clothes and gave them away to friends of to goodwill. It really helped to declutter our house but also to show the kids what a great feeling it is to be generous and how our Lord loves a generous heart. I have to say that they really enjoy giving their things away except for a few things for a few little ones that will remain nameless! It is a hard thing to do- to let go of some sentimental items. It is hard for me to do-but what relief and what joy it does bring to others and to ourselves too. My hubby is so good at this- he says if he has not worn it in 6 months then he can give it away. Wow! I wish I was as disciplined as that. I am a bit of a pack rat, but have gotten better over the years- but then again...over the years came more kids w/more things! so...oh well!

Christmas Eve was great. The cheerio children were thrilled to pieces that it was actually here - the night that Santa would come! They realized it over breakfast when we took off a ring and there was only one ring left on our Advent counting rings of garland till Christmas. We enjoyed it with my in-laws to our house toting in lots of gifts. What smiles it brought my children and what great memories. I was very focused on keeping my eyes on Jesus, to keep Christ in Christmas and not get swept off my feet with all the gifts. I hope I did not fail on this!-Only God knows...

As our tradition goes (we also did this growing up)- we made cookies and decorated our Christmas tree. One of the gifts my in-laws got the kid was 'cookie dough play dough'. It was so much fun! The colors were so bright and ...well, it got everywhere! But it was really fun! :)
Along with it being a fun day, it was also a bit...uh, stressful! Life is funny, huh? The way we envision a special day to go can be so very different than how it turns out. However, everything worked out and it was perfect just the same, the way God wanted it to be.

This was our first year that the kids really did not want to go to sleep b/c of such excitement. At one point, Kid #3 ran into the kitchen, where I was and said:

"Oh, Mom, it's just you. I thought you were St. Nicholas, ya know, Santa? Well, if I hear him, I'm gonna come out and give him a big hug and then I'm gonna tackle him, Mom. I really am, ok?"

I was full of smiles. "Yes, dear, that is fine" and I gave him a tender hug and in hopes this memory will never fade. May he and the rest of my gang always be full of joy and excitment for Heaven as this one was for Christmas morning this year.

It was also so adorable to see Kid #2 aka Cheerio Child #2 pretending to sleep in her doorway and quickly looking and gasping at any sound she heard! It brought back so many memories and gave me such joy! :) Until was getting later and later...we stayed up till after midnight (but with much consolation of all the other Moms and Dads doing the same thing! :)) This Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus stayed up -there was much work to do without little ones running around- clean the house for Christmas, presents to place under the tree, stockings to stuff, and of course Santa just had to eat the 5 cookies and drink the glass of milk that Kid #3 made certain was there.
Then Christmas morning, the kids pleasantly surprised Santa and Mrs. mean, Mom and Dad, by 'sleeping in' till 6:30am! If anyone has early risers, you know that 6:30am is really sleeping in!!! ha ha! We were thrilled! The children got to open one big gift from Santa and also open their stockings.

They were so very excited to see these in their stockings:
Betcha can't guess who these are!!! These 6 fine friends have had plenty of visiting hours at our Nativity set with Mary and Joseph! They are a lovely addition to the manger and we surely have a one of a kind manger now!

We had to make it to 9:30am Mass and after a whirlwind to get all ready and myself done (why is it that I am always LAST to get ready and have to shower, dress and out the door in under 10 mins!??!?!) But we did it...sort of. My hubby took kid #5 who is 22 months old out to the van and in a matter of 2 mins, I hear my name yelled as loudly as can be, and I hear him running through the garage and up the stairs, swings open the door and is holding kid #5 -his little face all bloody, scraped and black and blue lip and eye. The poor little guy and Daddy slipped on black ice. Can you believe it? On Christmas morning nontheless?!

Later, we had 14 adults over and 7 children and we did it! The turkey was delicious and my dad's sweet potato pie did not catch on fire and burn with the big marshmallows on top! In fact, it was a real winner! We had enough wine and food and great company. My hubby and I agreed that we would love to host again...but not next year! :) We need a year off!

The most loved Christmas items this year were:

Kid #1- Leapster, K'nex and Lego set
Kid #2-Modest version of Barbie called: "Only Hearts Club" dolls- sold at Target (they are just awesome); and lil girl make up
Kid #3- Army/Bug sleeping bag that came with its own backpack, flashlight and water bottle; and yellow rain boots
Kid #4-"Little Mommy" real doll she named "Mary"
Kid #5- Sippy cups (Yeah! cheap too! :))
Kid #6-socks and his first bear
And Daddy...his favorites were long sleeve t-shirts; and Mystic Monk Coffee (9 trial sizes to choose his favorite). We made 3 of those trial coffees for our Christmas guests and they just LOVED that coffee! So many compliments. We like it too!
And me?!? Well, let me show you...
Isn't life grand? Just these 2 items can make any wife's heart melt- Yankee Candle w/smells of 'Christmas Cookie' and a "FlipGrill". I have no idea what the latter one is and have not yet opened it but it sounds more AMAZING than it looks and I am sure I will be posting some pics form using it soon!

Once again, Merry Christmas and God bless,

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